Saturday, November 12, 2022

Odds-on favorite Charleston braced for a pair of challengers in the final quarter but failed to withstand the fresh legs of Bellisima Hanover, who burst from the pocket and claimed the cash in the $238,810 Kindergarten Classic final for 2-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday night (Nov. 12) at The Meadowlands.

Driver Todd McCarthy asserted Bellisima Hanover onto the helm and clicked a :27.3 first quarter. Charleston then swung out of third and brushed to lead before a :55.3 half while Cultured pulled first over from fourth and steadily progressed towards the front.

Charleston posted three-quarters in 1:23.4 and quickened for the drive with Cultured to her outside and Bellisima Hanover antsy in behind. The pacesetter maintained control into the eighth pole, but came under serious pressure as Cultured drifted and opened a gap for Bellisima Hanover. Bellisima Hanover readily launched between horses to land a final-stride blow on Charleston and take a neck victory in 1:50.2. Cultured finished third and Cantgetuoutamymind took fourth.

“I kind of thought I was in a great spot there until the top of stretch there,” Todd McCarthy said after the race. “It wasn’t looking so promising, but we were lucky enough to shake loose late and she certainly surged to the line. I was looking for anywhere I could go, but I was fortunate enough that Cultured got a little tired and drifted up the track, and I was able to squeeze through the little gap there. But when I did, she certainly surged forward and found the line very well.

“She’s been so good, and earlier in the season there she put down some big miles,” McCarthy also said. “She had a couple off runs, but full credit to Tony [Alagna]. He got her back and spot-on tonight, so it was a good way to get toward the end of the season with her anyway.”

Bellisima Hanover notched a third win from 11 tries in her campaign and deposited to an account now worth $199,547 for owners Riverview Racing, Alagna Racing, Caviart Farms, Daniel Plouffe and S. Head. The daughter of Captaintreacherous, trained by Tony Alagna, returned $11.80 to win.